Over the past few weeks, local councils around Queensland have been raising awareness about gender-based violence.
Townsville City Council marked White Ribbon Day on November 25 and hosted Walks Against Violence during the during the UN’s 16 Days of Activism on gender-based violence against women (between 25 November and 10 December).
In addition to starting important conversations through these events, the Council is now ensuring employees and visitors at its sites have access to period and incontinence products as needed.
“As a part of its commitment to gender equality, Townsville City Council has also developed Support the Cycle as a way to reduce stress and anxiety for people who menstruate,” Townsville City Council Community Development Officer Nikki Kerswell said.
“Periods are a normal and natural part of life; however, they can be unpredictable and managing them comes with a financial cost. Starting your period unexpectedly early can cause worry or shame, especially when you don’t have any period products on hand.
“That’s why we’ve installed Support the Cycle caddies in our restrooms where Council employees and visitors can take a pad or tampon if they need one and replace it later if they’re able.”
Ms Kerswell, who set up many of the product ‘caddies’ herself, said the response to the initiative has been positive.
“This initiative has been well received so far, with positive reactions from staff members and visitors to our sites, including a note left on one of our caddies saying, ‘thank you for taking my stress away yesterday’,” she said.
“It’s heart-warming to see the immediate positive effect this initiative has caused, and I’m looking forward to ensuring it continues into the future to help support all people who menstruate.”